Development and evaluation of a real-time one step Reverse-Transcriptase PCR for quantitation of Chandipura virus

Kumar, Satyendra ; Jadi, Ramesh S. ; Anakkathil, Sudeep B. ; Tandale, Babasaheb V. ; Mishra, Akhilesh Chandra ; Arankalle, Vidya A. (2008) Development and evaluation of a real-time one step Reverse-Transcriptase PCR for quantitation of Chandipura virus BMC Infectious Diseases, 8 . 168_1-168_7. ISSN 1471-2334

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Background: Chandipura virus (CHPV), a member of family Rhabdoviridae was attributed to an explosive outbreak of acute encephalitis in children in Andhra Pradesh, India in 2003 and a small outbreak among tribal children from Gujarat, Western India in 2004. The case-fatality rate ranged from 55-75%. Considering the rapid progression of the disease and high mortality, a highly sensitive method for quantifying CHPV RNA by real-time one step reverse transcriptase PCR (real-time one step RT-PCR) using TaqMan technology was developed for rapid diagnosis. Methods: Primers and probe for P gene were designed and used to standardize real-time one step RT-PCR assay for CHPV RNA quantitation. Standard RNA was prepared by PCR amplification, TA cloning and run off transcription. The optimized real-time one step RT-PCR assay was compared with the diagnostic nested RT-PCR and different virus isolation systems [in vivo (mice) in ovo (eggs), in vitro (Vero E6, PS, RD and Sand fly cell line)] for the detection of CHPV. Sensitivity and specificity of real-time one step RT-PCR assay was evaluated with diagnostic nested RT-PCR, which is considered as a gold standard. Results: Real-time one step RT-PCR was optimized using in vitro transcribed (IVT) RNA. Standard curve showed linear relationship for wide range of 102-1010 (r2=0.99) with maximum Coefficient of variation (CV=5.91%) for IVT RNA. The newly developed real-time RT-PCR was at par with nested RT-PCR in sensitivity and superior to cell lines and other living systems (embryonated eggs and infant mice) used for the isolation of the virus. Detection limit of real-time one step RT-PCR and nested RT-PCR was found to be 1.2×100 PFU/ml. RD cells, sand fly cells, infant mice, and embryonated eggs showed almost equal sensitivity (1.2×102 PFU/ml). Vero and PS cell-lines (1.2×103 PFU/ml) were least sensitive to CHPV infection. Specificity of the assay was found to be 100% when RNA from other viruses or healthy individual was used. Conclusion: On account of the high sensitivity, reproducibility and specificity, the assay can be used for the rapid detection and quantitation of CHPV RNA from clinical samples during epidemics and from endemic areas. The assay may also find application in screening of antiviral compounds, understanding of pathogenesis as well as evaluation of vaccine.

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